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Afghans lodge protest with Pakistan over border clash

Updated May 06, 2013
Pakistani security forces stationed at Pak-Afghan border. — Photo by AFP
Pakistani security forces stationed at Pak-Afghan border. — Photo by AFP

JALALABAD: Afghanistan lodged an official protest with Pakistan on Monday after troops exchanged fire at the border between the countries.

Kabul's Foreign Ministry said no one was wounded in the incident, which took took place in the early morning in the same location where a firefight between Afghan and Pakistani forces killed an Afghan border policeman and wounded two Pakistani soldiers last week.

During that incident, a border gate built by Pakistan was damaged in the fighting, and Afghanistan had warned Pakistan not to repair it.

Afghan and Pakistan troops exchanged fire on Monday at a contested border area in eastern Afghanistan days after an Afghan border policeman was killed, Afghan officials said.

Two senior officials from Nangarhar province where the clash took place told Reuters that fighting resumed after Pakistani troops attempted to repair a gate damaged in the previous clash.

The clash on Thursday, in the border district of Goshta, drew nationwide condemnation in Afghanistan, and saw protests in the east and in the capital, Kabul.

Moreover, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office said responding to a query regarding President Karzai's recent press conference in Kabul that Durand-line is a settled issue. Opening discussions on this issue is a distraction from the more pressing issues requiring the priority attention and cooperation of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

On President Karzai’s remarks regarding Pakistani posts on the border, the Spokesperson recalled that Pakistani post in Gursal had come under attack from Afghan forces and there had been several threatening and provocative statements made by Afghan leadership in this regard. The Spokesperson reiterated that the posts on Pakistan-Afghanistan border are serving the useful and mutually beneficial purpose of better border management, which is crucial for interdicting cross border undesirable activity. He reaffirmed the need to use bilateral channels including military to military contacts to resolve the issues relating to posts.